Airway Management With a Stereotactic Headframe In Situ—A Mannequin Study

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Abstract

Background:

Stereotactic headframe-based imaging is often needed for target localization during surgery for insertion of deep brain stimulators. A major concern during this surgery is the need for emergency airway management while an awake or sedated patient is in the stereotactic headframe. The aim of our study was to determine the ease of emergency airway management with a stereotactic headframe in situ.

Materials and Methods:

We conducted an observational study using a mannequin. A Leksell stereotactic headframe was placed on a mannequin in the operating room and the frame was fixed to the operating room table. Anesthesia personnel were asked to insert a #4 laryngeal mask and then to intubate the mannequin, using both direct (DL) and video laryngoscopy (VL). In addition, participants were asked to perform the same airway techniques in the mannequin without the headframe. Data were analyzed for time taken for airway management using different devices with and without the headframe. In addition, we compared the time taken to secure the airway between different participant groups.

Results:

Thirty anesthesia personnel (7 residents, 12 fellows, and 11 consultants) participated in the study. With the headframe in situ, 97% of participants were able to insert a laryngeal mask on their first attempt; 93% and 97% of participants were able to intubate the mannequin using DL and VL respectively on their first attempt. Without the stereotactic headframe, all participants were able to insert the laryngeal mask and intubate on the first attempt. The average time taken to insert a laryngeal mask and intubate the mannequin using DL and VL with the headframe in situ was 39.3, 58.6, and 54.8 seconds, respectively.

Conclusions:

Our study showed that both laryngeal mask insertion and tracheal intubation can be performed with a stereotactic headframe in situ. A laryngeal mask is the quickest airway device to insert and can be inserted while the mannequin is in the standard surgical position. Further study is needed to validate the results in patients.

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